You May Intend To Keep Working, But Life May Say Otherwise

Read Time: 5:23
Published: Jul 12th, 2015
Intend To Keep Working? Life May Say Otherwise
Article Updated:September 21st, 2019
Maybe retirement is not in your plan. Perhaps you think you have many more years ahead to think about the future and how the financial costs and burdens of aging health could impact you, your family, your savings, and your lifestyle. This is why so many American families are researching affordable Long-Term Care Insurance.  The cost of extended care is high and you could require care at any time ... not just when you get older. 
Plus, more American families see first-hand the impact long-term care has on loved ones. Have you prepared your family and finances for long-term care costs? The LTC NEWS resource center provides you with many research options. Check it out by clicking here.

A third of Americans expect to work at least until age 65. Another 10 percent don't plan to retire at all.

Many don't think they've saved enough money. And baby boomers are redefining retirement and must keep busy to stay happy — especially if many expect to live into their 80s and 90s.

But they are in for a shock. A 2015 Employee Benefit Research Institute survey found that 50 percent of retirees left their jobs sooner than planned. Why?

Half had to leave because of disability, a health issue or to care for someone close to them. Another 18 percent left because of layoffs or downsizing.

We always try to tell people you should be prepared for that every day," says Nancy Coutu, co-founder of Money Managers Financial Group in Oak Brook, Ill. "Even if the plan is to work forever, Mother Nature often does things out of control, and you are forced into retirement.

"Bad things happen to good people." 

"You could be the best worker on the planet, but no one is indispensable."

Nancy Coutu, co-founder of Money Managers Financial Group in Oak Brook, Ill.

What can you do to prepare? Financial advisers and retirement experts offer some tips. Just in case.

Do a budget

"If you have time to plan, the most important thing is to have a detailed budget of cash inflows and outflows," says Michael Dalton, author or co-author of more than 100 books on financial planning. "That's the only way you know where the money is coming from and where it's going."

Coutu agrees that this step is critical. "First they run numbers to see if there is a deficit," she says. "Then we figure out how much they have to make. A lot will go back to work making less. Or they may have to get a part-time job. If they want to maintain the current lifestyle and can't find a full-time job, we look at real estate. We look at downsizing and if they have to do a reverse mortgage. "

Make extra payments on your mortgage and car

"Management of housing expenses is a critical item because it's the biggest," Dalton says — about 40 percent on income.

The strategy here is simple. If you are 55 and worried about losing your job at 60, make additional mortgage payments. So, if you have a 30-year-mortgage with 23 years left, try to pay it off in seven. Similarly, look at automobile payments, he says. "I need to get the car paid off around the time I am at the highest risk of being terminated," Dalton says.

"Pay down debt," says Greg Hammer, president of Hammer Financial Group. "If you are married, ask yourself, 'Where would we be if we only had one income?' If you have an unexpected retirement, most will not be prepared."

Boost your emergency savings

"We tell people to pay yourself first," Hammer says. "You should have six months of cash reserves. And if you are eligible, you should be contributing to a Roth IRA. Principal dollars can be pulled out at any time after you reach 59. You can stretch those dollars."

Paul Bennett, managing director of United Capital Financial Advisers outside of Washington, says six months of savings is not always possible, so there are alternatives. "Sometimes they will rely on untapped home equity to act as a bridge," he says.

Have a plan

Coutu had clients who had a long-term plan: Upon retirement, they would sell their home and move to Arizona. "Out of nowhere the husband lost his job," she said. "We went back to the drawing board. I asked the wife, 'If he can't find a job, what do you want to do?' She said if he's not working, she's not working.

"We accelerated their plan," she said. "I said, 'Let's work it out on paper.' We looked at what Social Security would be, what the pension would be, what we would get for the house, what it would cost for the dream house in Arizona. It turned out they could go right now. They sold their house and are living in Arizona. Because they had been planning for years, it was a wonderful success story."

Consider disability insurance

"Personally, if someone is disabled, it is critical that they have a disability policy to protect their biggest asset — ability to earn a living," Bennett says.

Similarly, he says, some people leave jobs because their parents are facing long-term health issues. "That can create a real problem. One way to cover that is to consider purchasing long-term care insurance for your parents if they can't afford it. The costs on average in this area are over $10,000 a month for nursing-home care."

Keep your skills current and your résumé up to date

"Keeping your skills sharp, keeping your résumé updated, staying active on professional networks is imperative," Bennett says.

But lower your expectations for salary and benefits if you do land another job. People over 50 separated from their jobs often find it nearly impossible to find similar jobs and salaries.

If the layoff happens, negotiate your severance, especially health insurance.

Dalton said that when he was bought out by a university, he secured group health insurance, even though he pays the premiums. His goal was to keep it going until he qualified for Medicare. "What you do about health care is critical," he says. "Fortunately, under Obamacare, you don't have to worry about preexisting conditions. "

"Plan for the future like I may not have a job tomorrow," Coutu says. "People need to make sure they don't outlive their money."

Brooks writes about retirement and personal finance for The Washington Post. He previously worked at USA Today.

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

Editor's Note

The article fails to mention that extended Long Term Health Care is not paid for by an employer's health insurance or by Medicareonce someone is 65. Disability insurance may replace only a small portion of INCOME but does not pay for care.

Long-Term Care Insurance Essential to Protecting Retirement Accounts

Many people make affordable Long-Term Care Insurance part of their retirement plan. As the article mentions, something can happen at any time. People require extended Long-Term Health Care due to illness, accident or the impact of aging. According to planning experts, having a Long-Term Care Insurance plan in place, usually between 40 and 60 years of age, make sense not only from a planning point of view but from an affordability point as well.

Premiums are based on the AGE and HEALTH at the time of application. Premiums are intended to remain level. The younger you are the better off you will be. Plus, you may need to use the policy sooner than you think.

Partnership PoliciesProvide Dollar-for-Dollar Asset Protection

In addition, many states offer partnership plans which provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection with the federal Long-Term Care Partnership Program. Find  the states that participate in the partnership program by clicking here

Start your research by going to the LTC NEWS cost of care calculator. Find your state and see the current and future cost of long-term health care. Plus, you will see additional information including state-specific tax incentives and more. Click here to find your state.

Find a Long-Term Care Specialist to Help

You should seek help from a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. They should represent multiple insurance companies, understand how the Long-Term Care Partnership Program works, and have extensive claims experience. A qualified specialist will know how to design a very affordable plan which matches your age, health, finances, and goals.  Find a qualified specialist by clicking here.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides you with the tax-free resources to pay for quality care without draining savings and adversely impacting your income and lifestyle. However, long-term care is all about family. It allows your family the time to be family as you get older and not having the deal with the role of caregiver.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
August 21st, 2017

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

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